“The clients wished to create a house that sat comfortably in the landscape as well taking inspiration from the existing farm buildings on site”
The house is sited as part of a working farm Green Hills Farm that has been established by the client to regenerate 150 acres of West Gippsland pasture and bushland. The house functions as a centre for their operations, a family home and a place from which they can offer different experiences. The property is accessed via a steep road that overlooks the remainder of the property below. The house is approached past the orchard and garden beds of the farm and the main house is nestled into the hill with a timber board and batten wall facing the approach. As you enter the breezeway through a large red sliding barn door, the space opens up to the valley below. The central breezeway uses recycled brick that contrasts with the rough timber lining boards used throughout the house. The boards reflect the timber boards that were on the interior of the milking sheds that used to stand on the site. To the left is the large central space with glazing to the full extent of the West façade looking over the valley. The space is defined by several large, exposed timber trusses and columns supporting the timber-lined roof. The trusses were constructed on site by the builder. The rear wall features the same recycled brick used in the breezeway. The floor is burnished concrete, and this material is echoed in the kitchen benchtops. The interior uses black detailing in the joinery, steel splashback and the steel plates joining the timber trusses.
The far end wall has a custom formed concrete bench with a steel firewood rack at one end. An open fireplace perches on the bench with exposed flue through the ceiling.
The bedroom wing is on the other side of the breezeway and has two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a master bedroom and Ensuite. A central hallway runs along the length with the rough boards on the bedroom side contrasting with white full height joinery on the other side. The master bedroom at the end commands views over the valley, with timber detailing in the flooring and joinery. The master Ensuite and bathroom contrast with a continuation of the black theme used in the kitchen.
To the South of the main house is a studio that again uses the language and materiality of the old shed that stood on the site. The exterior is clad with rusty galvanised iron, contrasted with black detailing in the flashings and windows. The interior is finished in limed plywood on the walls and ceiling with a burnished concrete floor. The kitchen is detailed with contrasting black cupboards. The bathroom pod is accessed past storage cupboards. The bathroom is lined in simple galvanised ripple iron that follows the curves of the exterior walls.
The space is used as a retreat from the main house and for visitors to the farm.
Builder: JW & WM Woodbridge Building Pty Ltd.
Nagle College Salesian Technology Precinct
“The Salesian Technology and Physical Education Precinct mark Nagle College’s commitment to upgrading their aging buildings and providing state of the art facilities for their students.”
Client Name: Nagle College Bairnsdale
Builder: Brooker Builders
As part of Nagle college’s master plan, the Salesian Technology Precinct and Physical education buildings are part of recent upgrade works to replace existing aging buildings on the site and provide their students with state of the art facilities. Following on from the trade skills centre and Nano Nagle centre classroom developments, this marks the last project to replace facilities that have been on site since the 1970’s.
The Technology building comprises a central exhibition area that accesses the school’s existing sports hall which is also used for assemblies and functions. The exhibition area functions as the circulation space through the building and has an atrium that provides natural light. The school has installed in the atrium an Italian garden and mural to pay homage to Don Bosco.
The Technology building has a dedicated Textiles classroom, a general classroom, wood and metal working workshops and a new technologies classroom. In addition, there is a fully functioning commercial kitchen including food technology teaching area.
The Physical Education addition includes a classroom accessible to the sports hall, change rooms and a new entry area to the sports hall accessible from the carpark.
The exterior of the building is designed to be in keeping with the existing sports hall scale but has two very distinct entries to the Technology Precinct and the Hall. Both have a bold Aluminium clad canopy that reaches out towards the carpark. The Technology Precinct has a red canopy and the hall entry has a yellow canopy and which provides shelter at the entry for patrons before and after events. The hall entry has a sculptural off-form concrete area including a planter, wall and steps that lead to the change rooms.
The remainder of the exterior areas are brick with Australian Hardwood Timber blade walls to provide some visual warmth in contrast to the hard finishes.
The Technology Precinct interiors feature predominantly plywood walls and epoxy coloured flooring, a different aesthetic with practical robustness for a commercial work area. The ceilings are acoustic corrugated iron throughout. The central area has a plywood feature wall with a large back lit cross, large decorative suspended pendant lights and a racing stripe on the floor direct movement through the space.
Green and orange highlights are used through the interior as well, with a large suspended air conditioning duct that runs the length of the space.
The buildings are a statement of Nagle’s commitment to development and investment in their future.
Toorloo Arm Primary Multipurpose Building
“The school required a building that addressed the particular site issues”
Client Name: Toorloo Arm Primary School (Department of Education)
Area: 300m² + ancillary works
Construction Budget: $1.07m
Builder: CADbuild Construction (Formerly CM & HM Banks Builders)
This project consists primarily of a new Multipurpose Building that includes 3 separate areas that are linked by sliding walls to form a single area. In addition, there is a canteen which serves both the multipurpose area and is open to the external space.
The works also include renovations to the art room, a new open play area central to the school that has a grassed sports surface, works to the existing basketball court including extension of the court surface with a new roof over the court, and the resurfacing of the adjacent tennis court used by the school and community. The project provides several opportunities for community integration. The addition of a canteen to the school where previously there was none has provided the school with several new avenues for community involved events, catering for community events both in the multipurpose building and externally.
One of the major design influences was the orientation of the building, is located on the Eastern side of the site with a mostly Western facing facade. The building was located on the East Boundary to provide a connection from the building to the central grassed area and to maintain sightlines from the front of the school past the main buildings to the rear oval.
As the DET does not allow for air-conditioning but does allow for heating, this orientation affected the buildings’ form, with the requirement to ensure that it did not suffer from excessive Western Summer sun exposure. The roof form extends past the building line to form a walkway around the building and to protect the Western facade from the summer sun. In addition, a large timber pergola feature provides several functions including sun protection while also allowing a line of sight through to the central grassed area from the internal space and a break from the visual bulk of the building.
The school as a whole had undergone a major building upgrade in the previous year with the completion of a BER building that changed the way that the school approached their teaching and educational methodologies as they had previously only had single portable classrooms. As the school students and teachers used this new building their understanding of the opportunities that these new spaces afforded grew. This, in turn, helped to inform their brief for the new development. The school wished to subscribe to the model of flexible spaces with central areas that could be shared by single or multiple classes. This informed the design layout of the rooms in the new building.
“The design challenge was to create a comfortable house that addressed the unique site constraints of a narrow and steep block."
The site is located on the Paynesville canals with water access. The site has an 8m drop from the top of the site to the water and averages 9m wide. As such the site presented some unique design challenges.
The house has 3 storeys with a boatshed/storage area on the lower level, living area on the ground floor with a bedroom and ensuite. A master bedroom with ensuite, second bedroom/study and living area on the first floor.
The entry to the house is down a walkway on the side of the house, where you enter via a vivid red door with a custom timber handle. Upon entering you are presented with an elegant timber stair and timber panelling to the hallway. Behind two secret doors in the panelling is a powder room and laundry. As you make your way through to the living area, the space encapsulates sweeping views to the North across the canal to the nature reserve opposite. Likewise, the master bedroom on the first floor looks North across to the lake.
The house’s street frontage is a simple combination of two forms with an angled white ribbed roof form that comes down over the white brick garage. The house somewhat “turns its back” on the street and doesn’t reveal its true nature until you enter it. The street façade is blank with the majority of the windows oriented to the view.
The building is a composition in whites and greys that relies on its forms to give it its character.
The East and West facades have simple white walls with windows punched in them, while the North façade has two dramatically cantilevered decks overlooking the view.
The interiors use a palette of more natural materials with polished concrete floor on the ground level that uses the local granite aggregate with a warm tone. The kitchen and entry have timber accents against white joinery with a floating timber bulkhead over the kitchen bench and timber panelling in the entry. The bathrooms and powder room are accented with striking black and white tiles.
The clients have often commented on how much they enjoy living in this house for its natural light, having the changing views directly accessible from their main rooms, and the fact that it feels spacious despite its small footprint.
“The clients wanted a simple – cost effective house that captured the sweeping views of the valley below.”
The property is a family farm where the clients had stayed in an old farm building on the site when they visited. They wanted a more comfortable, yet simple house that would be their “weekender” residence. The building is sited at the top of a hill that looks down across the property to the river below. It is a single storey residence with a master bedroom and ensuite, 2 visitor bedrooms with shared bathroom, a rumpus room and living /kitchen area. The main living area has folding doors that open out onto a large North facing entertaining deck. The living area and deck are oriented to capture the sweeping views of the valley and river below. The building is designed in an East West orientation to provide maximum North light and passive solar design to all of the rooms. The staggered layout shelters the deck area from the cold Westerly winds.
The exterior is clad in corrugated iron to reflect both the farm aesthetic and as well as to provide a low maintenance and cost-effective solution. The interiors use a simple pallet of white materials with a warm timber floor in the lounge area.
Bancroft View House - Metung
“The client wished to elevate the building to capture the views towards Bancroft Bay.”
This house is designed with the primary living areas on the first floor. This raises the building above the surrounding houses and vegetation to enable views towards Bancroft bay.
The first floor of the house is suspended on a long charcoal blockwork spine wall that forms a strong visual base to the building. On the ground floor is the garage and laundry which form the lower ground entry. The main entry at the front of the house is via a bridge over a dry creek bed landscape. The entry stair is enclosed behind a timber wall. Locally sourced hardwood is used throughout the external elements of the building including soffits, decking and structural framing. Detailing of these elements including the external stairs and handrails was carefully considered to make them an integral feature of the building. The North facing upper deck is nestled amongst the trees and the palm tree on the site makes it almost a “tropical” feeling space.
The external cladding at the first floor is cement sheeting that has been broken up into a jigsaw of rectangles to provide a subtle variation to the façade. It is broken up further with timber detailing and a strong red colour to the walls.
The interiors were designed to have a light and clean look but to have a warmth at the same time.
Internally the building is bathed in light from windows on all sides. Timber is again used extensively throughout with narrow timber floor boards and timber veneer to the built in joinery. The remainder of the joinery uses black and white in contrast, with splashes of colour through the choices of furniture upholstery.
The bathrooms use white and timber elements with variations in texture and patterns in the tiles while maintaining the clean contemporary look.